Gryphius, Andreas

Gryphius, Andreas

Gryphius, Andreas (ändrāˈäs grüˈfēo͝os), 1616–64, German poet-dramatist, originally named Andreas Greif. He wrote in Latin, new High German, and Silesian dialect. Among his many sonnets, odes, epigrams, and religious lyrics is the famous “Vanitas! Vanitatum Vanitas!” His tragedies include Leo Armenius (1646) and Carolus Stuardus (1649); more noteworthy are his lively satiric comedies, such as Horribilicribrifax (1663) and Peter Squenz (1663).
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Gryphius, Andreas


Born Oct. 2, 1616, in Glogau; died there July 16, 1664. German poet and playwright. Son of a pastor.

The pessimistic mood of the sonnets, odes, epigrams, and religious songs of Gryphius (in Latin) reflected the collapse of Germany after the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48). His historical tragedies in the baroque style— Leo Armenius (1646; published, 1650), Carolus Stuardus (1649; published, 1657), Katharina von Georgien (1646–48; published, 1657), Papinianus (1659), and Cardenio and Celinde (1649; published, 1657—also deal with contemporary problems. Gryphius’ best comedies are Peter Squentz (published, 1657) and Horribilicribrifax (1659; published, 1663). The most realistic and democratic of Gryphius’ plays— The Beloved Briar Rose (1660)—is a comedy in the Silesian dialect; its heroes are German peasants.


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Flemming, W. A. Gryphius.... Stuttgart, 1965. (Bibliography.)
Szyrocki, M. A. Gryphius. Tübingen, 1964. (Bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.